BAC Mono to Feature Experimental Alloy

A running gear and a suspension will be made of niobium.

Britain-based Briggs Automotive Company, better known as BAC, has received a government grant that will allow it to experimentally test niobium-based alloys in car constructions. The company will spend the allocated funds on building a racing prototype, also known as the BAC Mono.

BAC Mono to Feature Experimental Alloy photo 2

Niobium is a soft metal that is actively used in components of jet engines, rockets, and in the production of high-quality structural steel. For example, the main engine nozzle of the Apollo spacecraft was made from an alloy based on it. Niobium is characterized by its ductility, corrosion resistance and low weight, which is why it has prospects in the automotive industry.

A spacious frame and suspension arms of the BAC Mono will be made from a niobium-based alloy (highlighted in orange) A spacious frame and suspension arms of the BAC Mono will be made from a niobium-based alloy (highlighted in orange)

BAC will create a structure of the Mono from niobium with the assistance of the Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração (CBMM). The company is engaged in the extraction, processing and development of industrial niobium applications and also cooperates with Formula E and the new Extreme E series.

BAC Mono to Feature Experimental Alloy photo 3

If the project is successful, BAC promises to introduce the metal into mass production. In the future, it will be possible to create stronger and lighter parts from it: suspension and chassis components.

BAC Mono to Feature Experimental Alloy photo 4

In general, experimental materials are a «feature» of BAC. In 2016, the British were the first in the world to use graphene to make rear wheel arches. The nanomaterial was added to the carbon composite, which again made it denser but at the same time lighter. According to the manufacturer, the difference in weight compared to a conventional part reaches 20%.

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